Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Lamington, second Baron (1860–1940)

by R. B. Joyce

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9, (MUP), 1983

second Baron Lamington (1860-1940), by George Stacy, 1896

second Baron Lamington (1860-1940), by George Stacy, 1896

National Archives of Australia, A1715:33 [with Lady Lamington]

second Baron Lamington (1860-1940), governor, was born CHARLES WALLACE ALEXANDER NAPIER COCHRANE-BAILLIE on 29 July 1860 in London, son of the politician and author Alexander Baillie-Cochrane, later 1st Baron, and his wife Annabella Mary Elizabeth, née Drummond, granddaughter of the Duke of Rutland. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford (B.A., 1881). Assistant private secretary to Lord Salisbury in 1885, he was narrowly defeated as Conservative candidate for North St Pancras but won the July 1886 'Home Rule' election contest. According to the St Pancras Guardian, 'nothing has been left undone that money could accomplish to secure his election'. His rare appearances in the Commons were said to be 'a good augury of an impending dissolution'. The death of his father in February 1890 removed him to the House of Lords. On 13 June 1895 at St Michael's Church, Pimlico, he married Mary Houghton Hozier; they had two children.

Chosen in October 1895 to succeed Sir Henry Norman as governor of Queensland, Lamington served from 9 April 1896 to 19 December 1901 including six months leave in England in 1899-1900. In his dispatches he demonstrated his conservatism and declined to forward a Labor address 'advocating extreme socialism because it was so crude [and] wanting in sense'. He found class divisions more accentuated than in England and feared that Federation might lead to extreme socialism.

Concerned at the unsatisfactory treatment of Aboriginals and Melanesians, Lamington visited British New Guinea in 1898 and travelled extensively in Queensland. He confided in Chief Justice Sir Samuel Griffith, although they clashed when Griffith deputized for him in 1898. He supported Griffith's attempts to retain appeals from federated Australia to the Privy Council and hoped that the status of State governors would not diminish under Federation so that Britons 'of recognized appeal or high social standing' would still apply. He came eventually to realize that governors needed other qualities; 'mere show appeals but little to Australians'.

As governor of Bombay in 1903-07, Lamington found that he had more power than in Australia where he had only the royal prerogative to administer. He and his wife retained an interest in Australia, corresponding with Governor-general Lord Northcote and Griffith. He spoke on Queensland at the Royal Colonial Institute and in the House of Lords. In 1919 Lamington served as commissioner of the British Relief Unit in Syria. He died on 16 September 1940 at Lamington House, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He had been appointed G.C.M.G. in 1900 and G.C.I.E. in 1903.

Lamington's name is remembered in Australia by place names, particularly the Lamington Plateau in Queensland and Mount Lamington in Papua-New Guinea. It is claimed that a cake covered in chocolate and coconut is named after him.

Select Bibliography

  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1931-40
  • Lamington papers, XVIIIE 6666-68 (Duke University Library, Durham, North Carolina)
  • MSS EUR 13 159/1-11-111 (India Office Library)
  • Lamington correspondence 1896-1913 in Griffith papers (State Library of New South Wales)
  • CO 234/63-71, 418/12 (PRO microfilm, National Library of Australia).

Citation details

R. B. Joyce, 'Lamington, second Baron (1860–1940)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/lamington-second-baron-7018/text12205, published first in hardcopy 1983, accessed online 22 November 2017.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9, (MUP), 1983

View the front pages for Volume 9

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2017

second Baron Lamington (1860-1940), by George Stacy, 1896

second Baron Lamington (1860-1940), by George Stacy, 1896

National Archives of Australia, A1715:33 [with Lady Lamington]

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Baillie, Charles Wallace Alexander Napier Cochrane-
Birth

29 July 1860
London, Middlesex, England

Death

16 September 1940
Lamington House, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Cultural Heritage
Occupation